The project Spielplatz:Mensch! at Forum Kreuzberg is open to children and youths with and without a migration and refugee background aged 6-14 years in Kreuzberg, Berlin. This district continues to have a high rate of socially disadvantaged people: the percentage of unemployed, long-term unemployed, transfer recipients and child poverty is above average.
Through care, attention and quality time spent together the children taking part in the organisation’s activities are perceived and encouraged in their individual development. The initiative is supposed to give structure to their everyday life. The aim is to provide a place of inspiration where children are heartened to develop their creativity and craftsmanship in the framework of professional support and have a wide range of opportunities to develop their ideas further and foster their self-confidence. The intention is to provide young people with solid tools for their further life. Roughly 25 children take part in the activities per day.
In 2020 the Phoenix Foundation was able to support the two-year project My World – My Future with 40.000€. In the first year topics such as garbage, environmental protection, nature, and living together in the city were addressed. Cameras were used to create a document of the kids’ environment, which then could be the starting point for a vision of the future. There was space to further investigate these visions and make them come alive through film, construction projects, inventions and installations. In addition to the existing workshops, new courses like recycling and upcycling, repair and energy technology were be offered. As a result the children prepared and realized a public exhibition of the works created.
The second year was structured similarly to the previous one, however, the main focus was nature. The children had the opportunity to become active in their own world, shaping their own future and taking responsibility. In individual and group work they had a chance to organise activities revolving around animals, plants and society. It was all about exploring how we can exert influence together and create change in the world.
You can find further insights into this initiative on the project blog (German only unfortunately), which is supervised by the children and employees themselves.